Letter to Wayne Geiling of Heritage Chapel Church of Christ from Memorial Church of Christ

Delbert Burkhart, Chairman, Elders

April 14, 1977

Wayne Geiling

Reginald Replogle

William Ruch

Heritage Chapel Church of Christ

917 Woodlawn Drive

Charleston, Ill. 61920

Dear Brethen,

Regretfully, we are forced to make the following statements:

We do not feel that Roger Lamb and Kip McKean understood the seriousness of the numerous items, many of these doctrinally based, that were rehearsed to them on April 4, 1977, in the presence of the Charleston elders, the Memorial preachers and elders, and the deacons on the Memorial Mission Committee.

Therefore, we are obliged to discontinue our financial support of these two men on May 15, 1977. We also are cancelling our campaign to Charleston this summer.

In addition, we plan to make this information known to the Memorial congregation before May 15.

If the Memorial elders concur with the Charleston elders on a new minister for the Charleston church, we would like opportunity to consider supporting the new man.

It is not proper for us to continue to support men in other places that we would not support at Memorial. It appears Brother Lamb has lost his trust and confidence in the elders of his "sponsoring" church. His statements concerning our "spying," that we were on a "witch hunt," and that we were "unfair" in conducting a discussion in the manner that we did, speaks of a deepest attitude in which we cannot trust each other in the manner we should to find complete openness and cooperation in preaching the Word. The negative, defensive, evasive posture that Roger exhibited to us is one that we would not allow by anyone we support.

We believe that Brother McKean has brought unBiblical [sic] practice, peculiar language, and subtle, deceitful doctrines to Charleston from the Crossroads church at Gainesville, Florida.

Both ministers constantly refused to admit there was even a problem, and they refused to accept a warning about where some "minor departures" would lead (even in Charleston). There is a growing list of divisive situations across the nation where the Crossroad's influence has permeated. This is ample evidence to attest to the dangers of their unsound doctrines and practices. These divisive doctrines must be recognized by watchmen on the walls of Zion before troubles are caused within the walls.

Without detailing the arguments, the Memorial elders, four preachers, and five deacons on the Mission Committee, are 100% agreed on their evaluation and opposition to the following items:

  • Prayer Partner Concept as now practiced - This includes confession of intimate sins, peer pressure to conform to human judgmental standards, and intimidation. We believe this to be "artificially supported Christianity."

  • Emotionalism - This appeals to the feet rather than the heart, and emotions are equated with Spirituality.

  • Power - Spirit - Growth Concept - as taught by Chuck Lucas and Sammy Laing. We do not believe the only way to grow in Spirit is to serve others. We grow through study of God's Word.

  • The book, THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM, was written by a liberal , Holy Spirit-led theologian. It's advocated methods if followed, are dangerous.

  • "Personal" indwelling of the Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit does not miraculously indwell the Christian to sustain him individually. If He does, then He failed to sustain the lives of those Christians in Hebrews 6:4-6; also chapter 10:25-29.

  • "Slow drift" programs - Some of these may appear all right within the limits that careful supervision can set, but they will lead to wrong conclusions and practices in the hands of the exuberant and inexperienced. Roger and Kip rejected all our advice and counsel on these matters.

  • The concept that every Christian must spend every waking hour in "sharing" by humanly set standards.

  • The hyper-criticism and judgments employed against our brethren in general and the wedge this drives in the church especially between the older and younger.

  • Women leading in prayer in the presence of men - Not allowing this must have more of a basis than "if eating meat offend" ( 1 Timothy 2:8).

  • The concept that someone besides Jesus has to suffer in order for me to be saved.

  • The judgment of humans that mature knowledge must be gained before one is allowed to be baptized.

  • That conversion is more than man's obedience to natural, spiritual law.

  • The exclusion attitude, smugness, intolerance, and elitism that is evident in the Campus Advance ministry. - This does not necessarily mean that Charleston is plagued with this attitude at this time, except as indicated by a failure on our part to "get through" to the two ministers.

  • Staking too much on one method (THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM), one church (Crossroads), and one man (Chuck Lucas) - Brother Lamb and Brother McKean appear to be wholly absorbed in following all three.

We love the Charleston church, and we love and appreciate your elders. We recognize additional problems our decision will bring to you, but we are left no choice but to immediately terminate our association with both Roger and Kip. Heritage Chapel can overcome these difficulties through your own love, dedication, supervision watchcare, and God's grace.

In Christian Love,

Delbert Burkhart

Chairman, Elders.

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